Teva Pharma breaks M&A silence with bite-sized MicroDose buyout

Known previously for rapid growth via acquisitions, Teva Pharmaceutical ($TEVA) had recently been quiet on the buyout front--until Monday. The Israel-based pharma company said it has snapped up drug-delivery specialist MicroDose Therapeutx for $40 million in upfront cash and up to $125 in contingent payments.

Teva has scooped up assets from MicroDose that complement its respiratory business, which hauled in $856 million in sales last year, Bloomberg reported. MicroDose has a propriety inhalation technology, and it brings Teva its lead inhaled drug candidate in development called MDT-637 for respiratory syncytial virus. In addition to that experimental drug, a fusion inhibitor that blocks viral replication in RSV patients, MicroDose has a treatment in earlier development for asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), according to Teva.

The MicroDose deal marks the first buyout for Teva in 2013, after new CEO Jeremy Levin announced his plan to refocus its existing business of generics and branded drugs on the market and in development. He has hit the brakes on the torrid pace of buyouts, including multibillion-dollar deals, which made Teva into the largest maker of generic drugs in the world. As Bloomberg noted, this deal falls in line with Teva's stated goal of landing smaller deals that complement existing franchises.

MicroDose, which is based in Monmouth Junction, NJ, features an inhalation technology that includes a multi-dose dry-power nebulizer device and the ability to deliver doses to patients without preparation in less than 30 seconds, according to Teva.

"The MicroDose platform is both simple and attractive, and their addition will help us to address the unmet needs of the youngest and oldest patients, who have a requirement for a better way of taking the medicines they rely upon," stated Teva Chief Scientific Officer Michael Hayden, in the company's release.  

- here's the release
- here's the Wall Street Journal's coverage
- and the report from Bloomberg